BSc Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Critical pedagogies and Higher Education in Global Majority Contexts

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC34052
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


'Global Majority is a collective term that first and foremost speaks to and encourages those so-called to think of themselves as belonging to the global majority. It refers to people who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or have been racialised as 'ethnic minorities' (Campbell-Stevens, 2020).

This course interrogates some of the approaches to education in the so called Global South, which are often generated in the so called Global North. It examines the potential challenges and transformative change when applying alternative, critical and radical pedagogies to higher educational systems in parts of Latin America, Asia and Africa.

 The course is built around communication and collaborative learning, and is guided by the principles of decolonial, participatory and critical pedagogies to embrace diverse knowledges. It will do this by exploring theoretical work by seminal thinkers and critical theorists, including in and from the hemispheric south, through written academic texts, films/documentaries, podcasts, news articles and blogs, and pop culture references.

Several themes will emerge for discussion including:

Problem posing education

The political process of education and the role of the university in political education

Authentic and relevant curriculum and assessment as transformative practice

The role of the student-teacher interaction on teaching and learning experience

Critical consciousness, praxis, and dialogic education

Culturally responsive and sustainable pedagogy

Students will use these to anchor discussions in whole class or small groups, and develop rich questions to take the conversation further. Through dialogic methods and critical reflection, we will examine the dialectical, dynamic, and evolving nature of teaching and learning, and the assumptions, actions, and outcomes of critical pedagogy within higher education settings.


Examine the emergence and development of critical pedagogy, through concepts offered by alternative, critical and radical thinking in/from parts of Latin America, Asia, and Africa

Discuss pedagogical implications of higher education practices rooted in colonialism and Empire

Encourage reflection about higher education and how it works in multi-cultural communities of learning where education is a mutual endeavour

Establish theoretical foundations for own process of critical/engaged pedagogy

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching is delivered through a combination of traditional and participatory learning, presented through tutor-led and student-led input in lectures, group discussions and independent learning, in face-to-face and online modes.

Knowledge and understanding

  • analyse non-hegemonic perspectives on education and question the legitimacy and limitations of dominant discourses on education in the global majority contexts.
  •  demonstrate nuanced knowledge and understanding of the potentialities and complexities of a critical pedagogy for higher education
  • identify how the concepts and principles of critical pedagogy can address issues in a range of higher education settings
  • identify and effectively navigate methodological and ethical complexities of researching higher education in the global south

Intellectual skills

  • critically engage with transdisciplinary thinking and research through a range of decolonial frameworks
  • identify, reflect upon, and discuss own and others' thinking to the role of critical pedagogies in higher education
  • review higher education processes and practices in the light of emerging understandings of scholarship in/from the hemispheric south

Practical skills

  • independently source a wide range of conceptual and empirical material related to education processes
  • synthesise these materials in a coherent and structured way for a variety of oral and written purposes
  • construct and sustain argument in a reasoned and analytical manner

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • integrate digital technology tools in written, oral, non-verbal, formal or informal processes to present and appraise own and peer work
  • use the discussion and debate with peers and tutors during the unit and in previous and parallel units to develop own scholarship
  • interact and communicate with peers and tutors in large and small groups, with a sense of consideration and support for others
  • centre social justice and transformational change in the study of higher education

Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting Word length

Annotated bibliography: Develop a key theme into a title and compile an annotated bibliography for the podcast

30% 750

Non-assessed Real World Case Study proposal

formative 250

A narrative podcast about a Real World Case Study: A specific pedagogy for higher education in/from one Global Majority context

70% 15 minutes


Feedback methods

Via Blackboard/Turnitin

Recommended reading

Detailed lists of reading on specific topics will be provided for students.  The following is a list of some key publications:

Bhambra, G.K., Gebrial, D. and Nişancıoğlu, K. (2018). Decolonising the university . London: Pluto Press.

Canute S. Thompson, Sheron Fraser-Burgess and Thenjiwe Major. (2019). Towards a Philosophy of Education for the Caribbean: Exploring African Models of Integrating Theory and Praxis. Journal of thought, 53(3/4), pp.53–72.

Cowden, S. et al. (2013). Acts of knowing : critical pedagogy in, against and beyond the university . New York: Bloomsbury Academic

Cupples, J. and Grosfoguel, R. (2018). Unsettling Eurocentrism in the westernized university. 1st ed. London: Routledge.

Darder, A. (2018). The student guide to Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” (Illustrated
edition). Bloomsbury Academic.

Darder, A., Baltodano, P., & Torres, R.D. (Eds.). (2009). The critical pedagogy reader. Critical pedagogy: An introduction (pp. 1-20). New York, NY: Routledge.

Escobar, M. (1994). Paulo Freire on higher education : a dialogue at the National University of Mexico . In Albany: State University of New York Press

Freire, P. and Freire, P. (1973). Education for critical consciousness . 1st American ed. London: Sheed and Ward

Freire, P., Ramos, M.B. and Freire, P. (1976). Education, the practice of freedom. London: Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative.

Giroux, H.A. (2010). Rethinking Education as the Practice of Freedom: Paulo Freire and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy. Policy futures in education, 8(6), pp.715–721.

Hayes, K., Steinberg, S.R. and Tobin, K. (2011). Key Works in Critical Pedagogy . Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress : education as the practice of freedom . New York: Routledge.

Kumar, R. (2015). Neoliberalism, Critical Pedagogy and Education. London: Taylor & Francis Group.

Macrine, S.L. (2020). Critical pedagogy in uncertain times : hope and possibilities . 2nd ed. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan

Maringe, F. and Ojo, E. (2017). Sustainable Transformation in African Higher Education: Research, Governance, Gender, Funding, Teaching and Learning in the African University. Dordrecht: BRILL.

Mayaba, N.N., Ralarala, M.K. and Angu, P. (2018). Student voice: Perspectives on language and critical pedagogy in South African higher education. Educational Research for Social Change, 7(1), pp.1–12

Nyoni, J. (2019). Decolonising the higher education curriculum : an analysis of African intellectual readiness to break the chains of a colonial caged mentality. Transformation in Higher Education, 4(1), pp.1–10.

Schendel, R. et al. (2020). Pedagogies for critical thinking at universities in Kenya, Ghana and Botswana: the importance of a collective ‘teaching culture. Teaching in higher education, pp.1–22

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Loretta Anthony-Okeke Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Activity Hours alocated
Teaching contact

30 hours of class contact plus 10 hours of additional contact through consultation hours, feedback sessions, and so on = 40

Directed study: preparatory reading before/after taught sessions                                                                                     60

Guided independent study: Preparation and actual reading/writing for assessment


Independent study: Completion of reflective exercises in Blackboard

Total 200


Return to course details